//Paul McCartney Is Using AI To Complete ‘Final’ Beatles Song

Paul McCartney Is Using AI To Complete ‘Final’ Beatles Song

A new Beatles track is being brought to life using AI — officially, this time around — by band member Sir Paul McCartney. The Beatles legend revealed in a BBC radio interview that he “extricated” John Lennon’s voice from an old recording and plans to release it later this year. The song, which is supposedly titled “Now And Then,” was written by Lennon two years before his demise in 1980. Paul himself didn’t confirm the track’s name but says it will be released this year. 

The original track was recorded on a boombox and was cleaned by producer Jeff Lynne to extract Lennon’s vocal tunes. The song reportedly was only discussed over production sessions, but plans of going ahead were nixed because fellow Beatles member George Harrison thought that Lennon’s vocals were “rubbish” on the recording. Notably, this would be the final Beatles song.

The AI-assisted audio cleaning technique used for the upcoming track is the same method that director Peter Jackson employed for his “Get Back” documentary documenting the Beatles’ return to the tour circuit. Called de-mixing, it relies on machine learning that can separate guitar, bass, vocals, and other elements in a track, especially those recorded on older instruments without much scope of digital after work.

Lennon is aware of AI’s inroads into music

Sir Paul McCartney

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“We had John’s voice and a piano and he could separate them with AI. They tell the machine, ‘That’s the voice. This is a guitar. Lose the guitar,” McCartney told the BBC. Once the extraction was done, the vocals then mixed into a finished song. Notably, the original version was stored on a cassette tape, with additional piano tunes recorded via a boombox. 

“We were able to take John’s voice and get it pure through AI, so we could mix the record, as you would normally do,” he said. McCartney is also aware of the trend where AI engines were used to generate a Beatles song. “All of that, it’s kind of scary but exciting, because it’s the future,” McCartney said regarding the trend, but he added there are a few concerning aspects to it, too. 

However, this won’t be the first time Beatles and AI have appeared in the same equation. Earlier this year, an AI-generated song “reuniting” McCartney and Lennon singing together made waves on the internet. Titled “New,” the deep fake track was created by Dae Lims, who has also released several other AI tracks featuring McCartney’s voice. 

Recently, musician Grimes announced that anyone is open to creating a likeness of her voice using AI and that the proceeds will be shared between both parties without any copyright issues. Facebook also released a model earlier this month that generates tunes from text descriptions.